Dutch design practice Mecanoo has won the competition to design the new Frankfurt Grand Central Tower in Germany. Sited in the country's fifth largest city, the residential tower will rise within walking distance of Central Station where a former post office once stood. Developed by Phoenix and Gross & Partner, the skyscraper hopes to meet the city's increased housing demand across all market segments. The glass and copper-colored metal tower was inspired by the surrounding industrial context.
The location of the tower is bounded by Hafenstrasse and Adam-Riese-Strasse, on the north side of the railway. As the team states, the past few years have seen the beginnings of a transformation of the area between the railway and the Frankfurter Messe. Frankfurt is becoming a high-rise city, with about thirty towers reaching above a hundred meters in and around the city center. The new residential tower will include flexible workspaces, retail, catering, fitness and a kindergarten. Together, the programming aims to address the transformation of the surrounding business district into a mixed-use neighborhood for living and working.
On the railway side, there will be a linear park that extends to the Central Station. On the city side, a green square will be added as a lively public space that will connect the area with the existing neighborhood and with the center of the city. The design consists of two volumes on a plinth. The 140-meter-high tower contains social housing up to the seventh floor and owner-occupied units and penthouses on the higher levels. The lower volume consists of social housing. The two buildings are connected by a transparent plinth, which is enlivened by residential entrances and facilities, thereby also animating the surrounding public space.
The 140-meter-high tower widens at it rises, and the round corners gradually change into right angles. The team hopes the subtle play of lines and perspectives will give the tower a characteristic silhouette. Across the tower, the balconies change in size and position. On the upper levels, glass screens were added to create an extra layer to the façade. Here, the balconies become continuous. The result skyscraper aims to form a new identity for the Frankfurt neighborhood.